If you’re considering listing your house on the market with a low-cost, upfront fee online estate agent, you may want to think again.
As an independent agency operating in South East London, we know there are a number of advantages to using a traditional high street firm over an online or upfront fee one.
Now, though, this has been backed up further by research from The Advisory – which offers free, independent and expert advice to house sellers.
Its findings revealed that high street estate agents achieve an average price of 5% more than online-only agents in around 75% of sales. They also achieve more viewings and offers than their online counterparts.
Why is this?
Online agents are heavily reliant on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla to find buyers. While portals are an excellent way of generating interest in properties, they are less good at actually getting results.
The research found that, while Rightmove generates approximately 52% of viewings, it produces only 36% of offers and 27% of the best buyers.
By contrast, high street agents generate 48% of viewings, 64% of offers and – in nearly three-quarters of cases – a 5% higher sale price.
That would translate to a loss of £12,500 on a sale of a £250,000 home, according to The Advisory, if an online-only agency was used rather than a traditional one.
Of course, any good traditional agent will also advertise heavily on the major portals, which means sellers won’t lose out in this sense by opting for a high street firm.
Local knowledge and experience
As the research above states, opting to use an online-only agent could lead to fewer viewings and lower than expected offers. By using a local estate agent with branches in areas of high footfall you can increase your chances of getting viewings, attracting serious buyers and receiving offers that properly reflect the true value of your property.
Here at Living in London, we operate two branches - one is inside Canada Water Tube station and one is located at Marine Wharf, a lively new dockside development in Surrey Quays. This not only means we can build good relationships with local buyers, it also means we are fully aware of local trends which could help to get your home sold more quickly.
As we pointed out in previous blog, there are a number of things buyers of property in South East London will be looking out for, and the areas we cover offer these in abundance. Good transport links, a lively social scene, garden space, parking and fast broadband speeds are all likely to feature as must-haves, with good local schools, amenities and green space also likely to be key considerations.
You should employ a multi-pronged marketing strategy – including traditional and online methods – to improve your chances of getting your home sold. It’s also important to remember that every home is different, which is why we offer a tailored approach to our sellers to ensure you get the most from your sale.
Picking the right agent is a crucial part of what is likely to be one of your biggest financial transactions. You need someone you can trust, someone who will go above and beyond to ensure the sale goes through without any hiccups. Partnering with a highly trained team, which offers the best possible customer service, is therefore crucial.
Setting the right asking price
To improve your chances of selling quickly, you need to make sure that your initial asking price is set at the right level. For this to be possible, it’s crucial that you work closely with an experienced estate agent with excellent local knowledge to ensure your home isn’t priced incorrectly. Too high and you risk deterring buyers; too low and you run the risk of selling yourself short.
For more information about getting your home sold in South East London, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
You'll also probably be eager to know how much your home could be worth in the current market, which is where our expert valuations can help.
When it comes to selling a property, it pays to know what buyers are looking for. If you can provide as many of these features or must-haves as possible, it's inevitable that your chances of selling will increase.
But what are buyers of homes in South East London most likely to be prioritising? Below, using our experience of working as an independent estate agent in the area, we delve a little deeper...
Good, reliable transport links are likely to be a draw for most buyers, but none more so than in London – where many people commute into the City, West End or Canary Wharf for work. South East London is something of a commuter hotspot thanks to its handy location and relative affordability in comparison to more central parts of the capital north of the river.
At Living in London, the areas we operate in – Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, South Bermondsey and Rotherhithe – are blessed with excellent transport links, providing easy access to other parts of the capital.
Canary Wharf is a mere stone's throw away (two minutes on the Jubilee line from Canada Water), while Waterloo can be reached in just seven minutes and Westminster is a nine-minute commute.
Tube, Overground and National Rail are all on offer in this area, while buses, cycling and walking are other popular options. From Rotherhithe or Bermondsey, for example, it's only a short walk or cycle beside the River Thames to Tower Bridge, London Bridge and Borough Market.
As a major selling point, especially in London, good access to strong transport links is hard to beat. It's something that many buyers will prize and is likely to make your property for sale all the more appealing.
Gardens are sometimes smaller and narrower in London given the higher density of housing and tighter streets, but that doesn't mean outside space won't still have appeal to prospective buyers. Green space of any kind is likely to be a popular selling point, so if your home has this it's a good idea to show it off.
All kinds of buyers will be interested in a garden, even more so if it's south-facing.
Of course, at this time of the year, with the nights drawing in and the temperatures falling, the garden is unlikely to see much use. But it shouldn't be neglected or allowed to fall into disrepair.
Shabby, overgrown garden space will not help to get your home sold and could actively hinder your chances. Upon seeing an unmaintained garden, a buyer viewing your property might then be extra aware of any other flaws or issues in your home.
It's therefore a good idea to try and maintain your garden at all times of the year – even more so if you are selling.
Despite all the various transport links on offer, many Londoners still like to have a car on hand. But, in a very busy city where parking spaces are often at a premium, having a car can sometimes seem like more trouble than it's worth if getting a parking slot proves difficult or even impossible.
As such, if you have guaranteed parking spaces outside or close to your property – in the form of a driveway, a garage or a parking permit – this is likely to be a key selling point for many buyers.
Things to do
London is certainly the place to be in the UK if you want easy access to a staggering array of museums (very often free), theatre shows, independent cinemas, shops, restaurants, cafes, markets, leisure centres, green space, music venues and iconic landmarks.
As Samuel Johnson once said, 'when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life' – and if it's things to see and do you're after, the capital is absolutely unrivalled. The buzz, opportunities and cultural prowess of London will definitely be a key factor for people looking to buy here, and it's something you can use as part of your sales strategy.
In the areas where we operate, there is White Cube Bermondsey (a very popular contemporary commercial art gallery), Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Surrey Quays ODEON, an indoor go-karting venue, Southwark Park and Athletics Centre, the Brunel Museum, the London Bubble Theatre Company, Hawker House street food market and a host of pubs, restaurants, micro-breweries and cafes.
Not to mention the River Thames right on the doorstep, simple access to Canary Wharf and fast commute times to the West End.
Prospective buyers might also be looking for fast broadband speeds and space for a home office if they happen to be self-employed or work from home on a regular basis. The kitchen, meanwhile, is likely to be the most scrutinised room in a home nowadays, while bathrooms, living rooms and master bedrooms will also be closely inspected.
More than anything, of course, buyers will be looking for a clean, attractive, well-maintained home. They'll want the property to be homely and characterful but won't want to feel like they are intruding – so the right balance needs to be struck when it comes to viewings.
For more information about getting your home sold in South East London, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
You'll also probably be eager to know how much your home could be worth in the current market, which is where our expert valuations can help.
You need to ensure that your initial asking price is set at the right level to improve your chances of selling quickly, so it's vital that you work with an experienced estate agent with excellent local knowledge to make sure you don't value your home incorrectly.
With thousands of estate agents all over the country, it’s hugely encouraging to be recognised and we’re delighted to receive praise for the efforts and hard work that we put into our service.
What is the Best Estate Agent Guide?
The Best Estate Agent Guide aims to identify the UK's exceptional estate and letting agents. It reviews factors like marketing, delivery, customer experience and market share.
All estate agents taking part were monitored over a six-month period, culminating in the analysis of 50,000 mystery shops, 1.5 billion property views and 1.5 million transactions across over 25,000 branches.
As part of the Best Agent Guide Awards, the top 5% of the country's 15,000 agency brands were shortlisted. From this, the best agencies - depending on size - were given awards for their region.
Being named as the Gold winner for sales in the South East means that we are in the top 0.25% of estate agents in the whole country!
This speaks volumes of our enthusiasm to deliver the best possible service for our customers and the dedication of our hard-working team.
Reputation and trust play an important role for consumers when it comes to buying, selling, letting or renting a property and awards help to identify the best agents around. This, in turn, helps customers to make an informed decision and choose to deal with a reliable and trusted estate agency.
With awards helping to shine a light on those offering the best customer service, an award-winning agency can genuinely say that they stand out from the crowd and offer something more than their competitors.
Moreover, awards provide an incentive for agencies to strive to commit to the best possible customer service. Agents that have the chance to win an award will be encouraged to improve their offerings to make the consumer experience fruitful.
Of course, awards aren’t the only deciding factor for consumers, but they act as a useful measure for buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords to take into consideration when choosing an agency to work with.
About Living in London
Created to offer a service by landlords, for landlords, here at Living in London, we provide sales, lettings, property management and investment services from our offices in Canada Water and Marine Wharf.
Our bespoke approach to each client and local expertise has helped us to achieve positive, lasting relationships within our communities.
As well as the recent Gold Estate Agent Guide award, Living in London was voted as the ‘Best Letting Agent 2017’ in the Propertywire Awards and won the ‘New Starter’ category in The Wharf Property Awards. We were also named ‘Best Estate Agent in SE16’ two years in a row as part of the allAgents Customer Experience Awards.
We strive to exceed the expectations of all our clients, whether they’re selling, buying, letting or renting a property with us.
For more information on our services, you can get in touch with us on 020 7231 0002.
We also provide instant online valuations to give you an estimate on your property’s worth in the current market.
As we outlined in a previous blog, this time of year is great to sell a home, driven by increased buyer demand, the desire to be in homes before Christmas and the boom that follows the traditional summer slowdown.
And, fortunately for those looking to sell a home in Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe or South Bermondsey, there are reasons to be optimistic – despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the well-publicised struggles of the prime London market.
Buyers seeking greater affordability will be looking away from the centre, to up-and-coming areas with excellent transport links, more reasonably priced property, a good selection of green space and a growing range of places to eat and drink.
Canada Water to benefit from significant investment
The £4 billion British Land project to transform and enhance Canada Water – providing thousands of new homes, a huge amount of workspace and new shops, restaurants, bars, leisure facilities and entertainment venues – is helping to keep interest high in this sought-after commuter hub.
Prices have risen here by around 13% since 2015, according to Rightmove, and the average price currently stands at just under £525,000 – relatively affordable by London standards, which makes it appealing for second steppers branching out from a starter home and young professionals looking to get on the ladder for the first time.
As one of the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Areas, Canada Water is experiencing more investment and regeneration than most. This kind of thing tends to be attractive to potential buyers, who will want to buy in a desirable area where there is the prospect of decent house price growth in the future.
With the first part of the Canada Water Masterplan potentially being completed by 2022, and the project as a whole reaching completion by 2033, the chances of house prices rising steadily are good as demand for homes in one of London’s boom areas grows at a rapid rate. Even now, a number of developments are ongoing, which is further helping to encourage buyers to the area.
Two of its main draws are its transport links and its closeness to Canary Wharf. It’s one stop away from Canary Wharf - one of the world’s key financial centres - on the Jubilee Line, and also plays host to London Overground services providing quick commutes to cultural hotspots such as Shoreditch High Street, Hoxton and Dalston.
Bond Street, in the heart of the West End, can be reached in just 12 minutes, while it’s even quicker to get to London Bridge, Waterloo and Westminster.
As a property seller, you can use the excellent transport connections, the planned developments and the buzz surrounding Canada Water to your advantage. Make sure, on viewings, that you or your estate agent talk positively about the local area and its main attributes, as location is very often a key factor for London buyers and could swing their decision either way.
Affordable residential living in London
Surrey Quays – once a key part of the capital’s shipping industry – might have struggled for identity in the post-industrial era, but it has started to recover in recent years, aided by its strong transport links, relative affordability, quiet, family-friendly feel and selection of good or outstanding local schools.
Flats are most popular, selling for an average price of around £450,000-£500,000, mostly to young professionals eager for easy access to Canary Wharf, the City and the West End. The overall average price is just over £515,000, up by around 15% on 2015 as Surrey Quays’ burgeoning population has been met by increased demand.
The area will also directly benefit from the Canada Water Masterplan, while the London Overground extension – between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays, which opened in December 2012 – has also helped to draw more commuters here.
Its quieter, more residential feel could be a key selling point, particularly for buyers looking to escape the hubbub of the city. Again, it’s important to utilise the regeneration of Canada Water, the proposed pedestrian and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, and the area’s surprising amount of local green space to your advantage when selling a home.
Given the transport links on offer and the ‘away from the hustle and bustle’ vibe, demand for homes should continue to be high. You can use the keenness of buyers to be in their home before Christmas to give some impetus to your sale, too.
A welcome price boost
The regeneration of Rotherhithe – which encompasses Surrey Quays and Canada Water – is helping to make the area fashionable among homebuyers again. The Masterplan and the planned bridge are the two main pillars of its transformation, which could lead to a price boost of 30% between now and 2022, when the first phase of British Land’s scheme is set to complete.
It certainly feels like an exciting time for this part of south-east London, and that also means it’s a good time to be a seller. People want to move to areas with a buzz, and Canada Water, Surrey Quays and Rotherhithe currently have that. You should certainly feel confident of getting a good price for your home in the current market conditions, even allowing for Brexit uncertainty and other variables.
How much is your property likely to be worth?
If you’re selling now, or thinking of listing your home on the market soon, you’ll be keen to know how much it could be worth. To this end, we provide instant online valuations to give you an estimate of your property’s worth.
In the current market, it's absolutely imperative that your initial asking price is set at the right level. You'll need to work with a reputable local estate agent to ensure you avoid overvaluing, which could be detrimental to a future sale.
If you would rather discuss your options in greater detail, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling off the trees and the temperatures are starting to dip a bit – all of which means we’re leaving summer behind and entering autumn.
Which, as luck would have it, is arguably the best season in which to sell a home as the traditional post-summer boom in housing activity coincides with a desire from buyers to be in their new home before Christmas. It is typically a very busy period – as both buyers and sellers put their home moving plans into action – and here we take a closer look at why that is.
The holidays are over, the kids are back at school, and people want to arrange moves before the festivities begin. This all means activity ramps up in September, October and November. While summer is generally a quieter period for the property industry, this summer was particularly quiet thanks to the excellent weather, World Cup fever and ongoing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations.
The uncertainty over Brexit is still there – and may cause some people to think twice – but other variables are now in favour of stronger market activity.
Given the desire to be in their new home by Christmas, buyers may also be more eager to push through sales in a fast manner, which will be music to the ears of sellers who dread frustrating hold-ups or delays.
As a seller, you can improve your chances of selling by trying to hold viewings in the daytime (when you can shine the best light on your home), clearing your gutters, drains and driveway of leaves, keeping your home warm and toasty during viewings if the weather is cold outside, and decluttering your property so it doesn’t feel too personal or lived in.
Here at Living in London, we operate in one of the capital’s most exciting and up-and-coming areas. In Canada Water, for example, there is what is known as the Canada Water Masterplan, which aims to create a new urban centre for London in SE16.
The project, devised and led by property development and investment firm British Land, puts forward plans for the 53-acre regeneration of Canada Water. After four years of planning and consultation, the plans were finally submitted to Southwark Council in May.
The green light is expected to be given at some point this autumn. If the plans are approved, work could begin on the first detailed plots in spring 2019 (with a target completion date of 2022). The whole Masterplan, in turn, could be completed and fully functioning by 2033.
It would deliver up to 3,000 homes, in addition to retail, leisure, work, entertainment and community space, with the first three buildings set to be constructed on Surrey Quays shopping centre’s current overflow car parks between Deal Porters Way and Canada Water Dock, plus the empty site at Roberts Close.
The first phase would generate 270 homes as well as plans for 285,000 sq ft of workspace, a leisure centre, shops and places to eat and drink. Proposals for affordable social rented housing have also been included.
As well as bringing visitors, tenants and buyers to the area, existing residents of Canada Water will be given a major boost by the project as it becomes a nicer place to live, work and commute from. At present, it could be argued that Canada Water is mostly a commuter hub – a good base for people working elsewhere in the city. However, new leisure, work, entertainment and food/drinks spaces could help to change all that.
Those looking to sell should also be boosted by the plans, with greater media coverage of the area possibly leading to higher levels of interest from potential buyers.
In nearby Rotherhithe, meanwhile, there has been an update on the proposed Rotherhithe Bridge - a pedestrian and cycle bridge which would connect south east London to the docklands peninsular, making ‘sustainable transport a life changing option for thousands of commuters’.
The low lying bridge, downstream from Tower Bridge, will need to be designed so it can open to allow tall boats to pass.
Now, in response to the recent public consultation on the planned bridge, the team behind the initial proposals - reForm Architects and Elliot Wood Engineers – have relocated their design to its original 2013 northern position. The new location, along with a 20% reduction in the scale and 5m reduction in the height of the bridge, would bring ‘tangible public benefits and cost savings to the scheme’.
The update on their official website added: “We once again publicly offer our innovative bascule design for independent scrutiny as part of the ongoing process which TfL confirm will need to demonstrate that the best design and cost outcome has been achieved.”
The bridge, which has the support of the Mayor and TfL, would be the first bridge built in central London to the east of Tower Bridge. But it has proved controversial, with a high-profile and heavily scrutinised battle over the design of the Rotherhithe-to-Canary Wharf crossing.
Consultancy giant Atkins was appointed by TfL in March to provide engineering and architectural support to the project, but reForm Architects is no longer being considered for the design support contract after another design consultancy, Arcadis, allegedly advised against the bascule-type bridge design. It’s still unclear who will actually be responsible for the eventual design of the bridge, but a planning application could be made in 2019 and Sadiq Khan said in the summer of 2017 that he’d like to start construction as soon as possible.
Autumn, then, has so far been busy in terms of developments to the areas we operate in, but as we outlined above it’s also a good time to sell a home – with demand likely to be high as plenty of buyers enter the market seeking a home before the turkey needs carving.
Do you know how much your property is worth?
The market in 2018 has been an interesting one so far, but how has the performance of London's property sector affected the price of your home and how much you could be selling it for? If you would like an 'instant valuation' to get a better idea of what your property is worth for sales or rental, please click here. Or if you would prefer to discuss your options in more depth, please feel free to contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
We’re thrilled to announce that for the second year in a row, we’ve been voted the Best Estate Agent in SE16 in the allAgents Customer Experience awards.
Based entirely on honest feedback from genuine clients, the allAgents awards are renowned for rewarding estate agents for putting the customer first and going the extra mile to deliver excellent service.
At Living in London, we strive to exceed the expectations of all our clients, whether they’re selling, buying, letting or renting a property with us. It’s an honour to take the Gold award for best estate agent two years in a row and we’re thankful that allAgents gives us recognition for the time and care we provide each client.
We'd like to thank the clients who took the time to leave us such great feedback. We hope to make it a hat-rick next year!
You can see our awards here:
Best Estate Agent in SE16 2016
Headed up by Directors and brothers, Adam and Ben Miller, Marine Wharf will be an office dedicated to delivering the best customer service, housing our property managers, administrators and marketing team. The sister office in Canada Water will continue to operate as the face of sales and lettings, covering Canada Water and the surrounding areas of Surrey Quays, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe.
“We’re delighted to have opened our new office in Marine Wharf,” exclaims Ben Miller, Director at Living in London. “Despite Brexit, business is doing better than ever and we’re in a strong position to take on more staff and continue to grow.”
Renowned for our excellent customer service and being ‘more than an estate agent’, Living in London, Marine Wharf offers a stylish interior, including a state-of-the-art board room which boasts our striking logo, contemporary fully functioning kitchen, coloured LED lighting, and even a shower room.
“It’s very important to us that this not only be a fantastic place to work, but one we’d be proud to bring clients,” explained Adam Miller, Director at Living in London. “A lot of thought went into the layout and branding of the office and I think it truly delivers on every level. We’re excited to offer our vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants a customer service hub, where all their needs can be met under one roof.”
Marine Wharf offers services including sales, lettings, property management, and free market appraisals, all of which will all be promoted across Living in London’s website, social media channels and other marketing efforts. Adam, Ben and the team look forward to meeting local residents and encourage those looking to move to pop into the office to meet the team, but also find out how we can market your property or assist with finding your dream home.
Living in London Marine Wharf can be found at: Unit E/F Cadmus Court, Seafarer Way, SE16 7DW, 020 7231 0002.